Mersey retail giant Shop Direct offers £600,000 lifeline to region’s homeless

Speke-based firm has chosen Liverpool’s Whitechapel Centre and Manchester’s Booth Centre as its charity partner for the next two years and will also offer both organisations technical support. Tony McDonough reports

Shop Direct chief executive Alex Baldock announces the new charity partners


Two homeless charities – one in Liverpool and one in Manchester – will benefit to the tune of £600,000 after being chosen as Shop Direct’s new charity partners.

The Speke-based digital retail giant, whose brands include, and, will raise the cash for Liverpool’s Whitechapel Centre and Manchester’s Booth Centre over the next two years.

Shop Direct was formerly the Littlewoods catalogue empire and founder Sir John Moores was a renowned Merseyside philanthropist.

The money will be raised over the next two years through employee activities and events and Shop Direct will also provide industry-leading knowledge to both charities so they can introduce new technology to support the homeless and their families, as well as those at risk of homelessness.

Shop Direct’s biggest ever charity partnership will help the organisations introduce internet cafés within five homeless centres across the North West, where dedicated coordinators will deliver training and homework sessions to improve IT literacy.

In addition, a web-based online advice and support service will be established in Merseyside to help prevent homelessness amongst young people.

Finally, the money raised by the partnership will help to fund a schools awareness programme to educate young people in the community about homelessness and poverty, to break the cycle of deprivation, and reduce the risk of homelessness for future generations.

Alex Baldock, chief executive at Shop Direct, said: “These two charities are having a huge effect on the lives of homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless in the North West. At Shop Direct, our people vote for which charities we get behind, and I’m delighted with their choice.

£600,000 is our most ambitious target yet, but I’m confident that our people will rise to the occasion, working together for these two fantastic charities in Liverpool and Manchester.”

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